Well the computer is fixed. I'm now wireless so can go anywhere with my computer, even upstairs!
Its amazing how much time you can find when The Miniatures Page isn't calling you or you can't check Amazon for books on Samurai Heraldry. Its sort of liberating in a way and sort of like you feel your missing out on something in another.
Although I am proud to tell people I dont play computer games and hence haven't been caught up in the Call of Duty furore, I can and do spend several hours a week surfing around t'internet, often at nothing of any special interest. It beats Eastenders but takes up valuable painting time.
Its not often I find anything new but there are certain sites I will check out almost daily. The Miniatures Page is one. It seems to be THE place to catch up on whats going on in the hobby. The TMP forum is interesting at times but can turn into a bit of a witch hunt at times. Various Yahoo Groups are also a regular destination followed by the (relatively) new trend of blogs.
On the subject of computer games, I gave up playing them aorund the time of the Sega Megadrive, in the early nineties I think. They have just never held my attention for long. I do like the look of some of the trailers you see for these games, with almost Hollywood style production but they just aren't my bag.
I spoke to a work colleague the other day about computer gaming. He had jut got hold of Call of Duty and admitted to playing it into the early hours which accounted for the bags under his eyes and constant yawning. Best game ever in his opinion. He plays computer games for hours on end much to the chagrin of his long suffering wife and he feels more than comfortable discussing his latest game down the pub or at the dinner table. People listen and take in what he says and show some degree of interest. There is no questioning of this mans decision to sit in front of a computer screen for hours on end. It is an acceptable way of a grown man passing his time in most peoples eyes. It takes no great effort on the players part other than to develop the necessary skills to co-ordinate his fingers and hands to hit the right buttons at the right time.
Now, although I am not embarrassed in any way about my chosen hobby and most if not all of my family and friends know about it, I never feel right talking about it in the pub or as an after dinner topic of conversation. On the od occasion I have done so the reaction is typically one of mirth at besr and ridicule at worst.
Toy soldiers, little men, do you go 'bang bang', do you dress up and 'oh I used to play with toy soldiers as a kid' are all phrases and comments I am sure any wargamer of any standing in the hobby has encountered many times. Nobody seems to take the hobby seriously or gives the wargamer any credit above the fact you aren't at least spending your money on booze and loose women. Not that I mind. I dont give two hoots to be honest. My line of defence was that the hobby is so much more than playing with toy soldiers. In fact that is only a small part of the hobby. I talked about the research and interest in militairy history with a collection of relevant books that shames the local library. I talked about the creative side, learning how to paint the figures and make the scenary and the time and effort these things take. I talked about the rules writing process and the analytical skills used in the design and interpretation of ideas and mechanics. I talked about the social interaction with others with a similar interest, friends you make the length and breadth of the country and further afield that you actually meet face to face. I talked about the industry and how the people who make the figures and the skills they have and how they very often interact with their consumers, not just on a retail basis but a social basis too, afterall most of them are wargamers as well.
But alas my diatribe would fall on deaf ears. People it seems are far more interested in the bloke who sits on his own in a dark room bashing hell out of his computer killing computer zombies or whatever. Each to their own I guess.